MATT CARLSON | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist to lead the New York Islanders past the Blackhawks 3-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win after Chicago starting goalie Alex Stalock left early in the first period with a potential concussion.
Anders Lee also scored and Zach Parise added an empty-netter for New York.
Ilya Sorokin made 21 saves and lost a bid for his second shutout in three starts when Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal on a deflection midway through the third period.
The Islanders are on a roll after dropping three straight. They edged Chicago in a tight one after rallying from a three-goal deficit to beat defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado 5-4 on Saturday.
“We're pleased with the progress,” New York coach Lane Lambert said. “It's never perfect and you always strive for better or more, but you at this point we just have to move on to the next game and try to improve.”
Rookie Arvid Soderblom stopped 28 of 30 shots after Stalock exited, but the Blackhawks generated few chances against tight-checking New York as they dropped their fourth straight (0-2-2).
Nelson has four goals in three games after not scoring in his first seven. Sorokin has blocked 97 of the last 100 shots he’s faced over three games, but credits his teammates.
“It's good for the goalie when the whole team helps you and can stop the puck with their bodies," Sorokin said.
Stalock exited just 2:56 into the first after he was rammed into the right goalpost by Casey Cizikas. Stalock was placed in concussion protocol and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.
“I think they said they're just going to let it settle for the night and see how he responds in the morning,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “Right now, he's probably out.”
The Blackhawks were already without top goaltender Petr Mrazek, who has a groin injury. Soderblom is the only other goalie the team has under contract, so Chicago is searching for another.
“I'm sure they have calls in right now to (AHL farm team) Rockford,” Richardson said. “I don't know that they're going to do, but that's management's job to figure it out.”
Stalock stopped Cizikas’ backhander as the forward cut in off right wing. Cizikas didn’t slow down, colliding hard with Stalock and propelling him into the post.
He remained sprawled on the ice for a couple of minutes, then skated to the bench and was replaced by Soderblom.
Cizikas was assessed major penalty for goalie interference and a game misconduct.
The Blackhawks generated little pressure and just four shots on the extended power play.
Lee put New York ahead 1-0 during a power play with 2:25 left in the period, swatting in a loose puck inches from the goal line for his fifth goal.
Kyle Palmieri’s shot off the point was blocked in the slot by defenseman Jake McCabe. Nelson poked the puck under Soderblom and then Lee, who was parked in front, put it in.
“On the power play we've talked about getting some better looks and getting one to go through,” Nelson said.
Nelson made it 2-0 at 7:23 of the third, beating Soderblom from the right circle.
Toews cut it to 2-1 at 3 minutes later with his sixth goal, deflecting in Caleb Jones’ shot as he cut through the slot. Toews has a six-game point streak, with four goals and two assists.
Parise sealed it with his empty-net goal with 14 seconds left,
NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBUTE
The Blackhawks hosted an elaborate celebration, complete with Native American dancers and music, before the game the United Center to kick off Native American Heritage Month.
The Blackhawks got their name in 1926 from team owner Frederic McLaughlin in honor of the U.S. 86th Infantry Division, nicknamed the “Black Hawk Division” after a Native American chief from Illinois. McLaughlin served in the division in World War I.
While some other sports teams with Native American themed names have come under pressure to change their names or logos, the Blackhawks have said they don’t plan to.
The Blackhawks placed top defenseman Seth Jones (broken right thumb) on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 29 and recalled D Alec Regula from Rockford of the AHL. Jones, who leads Chicago with 25:12 of ice time per game, is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after being struck by a shot in a 4-3 loss at Buffalo on Saturday.
Islanders: At St. Louis on Thursday
Blackhawks: Host Los Angeles on Thursday
At just $20/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.
If you're already a subscriber and you'd like to send a tip to continue to support the Chicago Journal, which we would greatly appreciate, you can do so at the following link:
Chicago Journal Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.